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184        HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

university foundation began, and nine more made their ap-
pearance : Greifswald, Freiburg, Basel, Ingolstadt, Troves, Mainz,
Tubingen, Wittenberg, Frankfort-on-Oder. Except the few
which were founded when humanism had gained the ascend-
ancy, these universities were all medieval in character, and
followed in the main the precedent of Paris. Yet even from
the beginning they were more secular in spirit than their great
prototype, partly because the desire for higher learning which
led to their creation was strongest in the well-to-do burgher
class, partly because they owed much to the patronage of princes
who had the humanistic interest and desired well-trained men
for their service. The result was that, except in Cologne, where
the Dominican influence was supreme, they responded with
considerable readiness to the new learning, which was being
brought across the Alps by the teaching of men like Rudolph
Agricola, and by the books which were issuing from the recently
invented press in ever-increasing numbers. Several of them
became the centres of a vigorous humanistic movement. In
Vienna, for example, where the Emperor Maximilian I (b. 1459)
had gathered around him a company of scholars and poets, there
was a faculty of poetry, and Latin literature was the chief subject
of study. Freiburg and Basel had also chairs of poetry. Mainz,
again, was not only a notable humanistic centre, but the head-
quarters of German printing where most of the books that fostered
the classical revival were published. Most important of all,
Wittenberg, established by the Elector Frederick of Saxony
in 1502 for the furtherance of humane studies, had as professor
of rhetoric Martin Luther, through whom the literary revival
burst its bounds and spread into the field of religion.

Side by side with the advance of literary studies in the univer-
sities went a gradual change in the character of the schools.
The spread of the schools of the Brethren of the Common Life
throughout Germany helped to prepare the way for a general
improvement of education. But it was not till the universities
were able to provide a sufficient supply of well-educated teachers
that the schools began to come into line with the wider movement.
In this period of experiment, when teachers imbued with the new
culture were still finding themselves hampered ar every turn by
the traditions of an older day, the most outstanding figure was
Jacob Wimpheling (1450-1528). Wimpheling was educated at